Friday, June 21, 2013

The kaolin clay is on and it's a count down to netting time!

I was happy with last year's harvest...don't get me wrong, but there are some things that I thought we could do better this year. The easiest of these improvement for us to make this year was to spray less kaolin clay and to spray it later in the season, once the berries had almost reached bunch closure. The grapes helped us out this year by simply growing so quickly that we didn't have time or need to spray them earlier. The weather has been so mild and wet that the grapes have grown like kudzu. Last year, we used the higher end of the recommended rate of 50lbs per acre. This year, we have used less... About 25 lbs per acre. So far the Japanese beetles are staying away, so it seems to be working. The vineyard isn't as white as it was last year, but you can tell that the clay is present. Hopefully we will slow down the growth a little, but get better ripening than last year. I'd like to get higher brix than last year, but keep the good acidity of last year. We are on schedule for putting the netting on in about two weeks. That's about the same time as last year, which means, about 5 weeks after that, well be harvesting! I will be happier if we can keep the grapes on the vines a little longer, but mid August seems to be when our grapes want to ripen. Every year we learn more about the timing of the growth of the grapes in our vineyard!

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